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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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more amenable to British advice and willing to resume diplomatic relations
with all members of the camp of the United Nations except . . . Poland,
The Kremlin had no desire to renounce the booty acquired by its covenant
with Hitler. But Poland was closely linked with Britain and the Soviets
were forced to consider that country as being a protege of Britain.
Although the Kremlin was then in full cognisance as to how Russia
intended shaping Europe after the war and the part Poland was to play
in this plan, they nevertheless were content to shelve their intentions for
the time being in order to benefit from British support. A Capitalist
country helping Russia destroy one of its own kind, and the one who hap-
pened to be the most dangerous for her at that moment., presented a most
entrancing picture as seen through the eyes of the Kremlin. But this
success did not blind them to the fact that Britain still remained that
c polar circle ' against whom the Soviets must play for the conquest of
Europe when the danger of a powerful Germany in the centre, had been
eliminated. With these thoughts dominating the rulers of the Kremlin,
every move, every effort., was made with the object of reaching as far
westward, and of creating as many new Soviet Republics, as possible.
Working, in direct contrast to the Kremlin, on the assumption that
Europe should return as close as possible to the Europe of the Versaille
Treaty, lacking vision as to the future fabric of the Continent after the
defeat of Germany, and still clinging to the belief that Germany would
be a Great Power in post-war Europe, the British Government was content
to anticipate that a large part of it would become the surface of Russo-
German friction. Britain's aim therefore was restricted to securing
herself in Western Europe and along the Mediterranean, doing all
possible to limit her interests in the remainder of the old Continent.
The Kremlin merely regarded this attitude as a sign of weakness, and
with the British renouncement of all interest in the fate of the Baltic
States, the Kremlin thrust forward a demand for half Poland. Since
the Soviet's territorial demands were still c modest * in those days, they
anticipated that the Ribbentrop-Molotov line, termed the c Curzon Line *
in order to make it more easily digestible to the British public,
would eventually become the line between two Worlds. After this
* Line 3 had Deen agreed upon in the pourparleys of the Big Three,
Stalin stretched out once again for more and more. . . .
Britain's concessions to Russia, based on the theory that she had not
after all guaranteed Poland's frontiers, not only placed the future of that
country in jeopardy but the future of those ten other countries in the
Middle Zone as well. Britain was obviously unwilling to take over the
sceptre of leadership in Europe from the hands of a collapsing Germany.
While London still cogitated on the fact that after all their concessions
would not be paid for by Britain, the Kremlin understood well enough
that by her voluntary retreat from Europe, begun during the darkest days
in the history of the U.S.S.R., Britain had sustained a defeat at the